I’m afraid of fame. Not of being famous -- that would be great, and would most likely pay better than anything I’m doing now. No: I’m afraid of famous people. When I’m around them, my chakras get jammed. On the outside, I affect a happy hologram of normality; inside, I’m going haywire. I act funny, say stupid things, become overly chummy, or often just hide. All the while I’m thinking, I can’t believe I’m with so-and-so. This is the strange power of being famous. John Waters once called it “a curse.”
This week, Sarah Jessica Parker was the guest judge on Work of Art. Knowing this, I freaked out while driving to the studio, frantically texting the directors and producers to “Keep me away from SJP! I will not appear on-camera with her!” (and other things with lots of emoticons). In the studio, they all came into the dressing room and incredulously said, “Are you joking, Jerry?” I went into a long, serious spiel about how if the art world sees me with SJP, my reputation will be stained. They looked at me like I was crackers, as I opined that as an art critic, I had to maintain my “values” and “integrity.” I said all this as the shiny spot on my head was being powdered by a makeup woman and I was wearing only underpants. Every week, this show reveals another misstep in what I used to believe was my own flawless thinking.